Obama fights against US coal exports

**Posted by Phineas

In Obama's crosshairs

In Obama’s crosshairs

I’m not sure what the people of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado did to Barack Obama –after all, they gave him the electoral votes he needed to win reelection– but he sure has it in for their major exports and the jobs they create:

The leaders also announced that the Netherlands was joining the U.S. and other countries in an effort to stop the international funding of new coal-fired power plants by development banks.

“We’re pleased that the Netherlands has joined our initiative that will virtually end all public financing for coal-fired plants abroad,” Obama said. “It’s concrete action like this that can keep making progress on reducing emissions while we develop new global agreements on climate change.”

Per Bryan Preston, the US is the world’s second largest coal exporter, and each million tons exported creates over 1,300 jobs. Now, why on Earth would an American president work so hard against American economic interests, especially in difficult times with such large numbers of people unemployed and under-employed? It’s almost as if he sees American power as a problem, something to be solved by managed decline… Nah, couldn’t be.

I sorely wish more people in those coal-mining states had seen the danger Obama poses to their own livelihoods and the nation’s well-being; I’ve little doubt we’d be in a better situation right now, if they had. But that’s done, and now we have to work to convince voters that any Democrat nominee in 2016 is going to be beholden to the same radical environmentalist interests that Obama is placating with this initiative. Those factions are not interested in mitigating the problems with coal use until a genuine replacement comes along or with good conservation practices in its mining: they want to ban it outright, now, and the consequences be damned for communities reliant on its extraction and an economy dependent on the energy it produces.

And, right now, they have their guy in office.

Read the rest of Preston’s report for the international implications of this agreement.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Demon-fearing Los Angeles city council blames fracking for earthquake

**Posted by Phineas

Drill, baby, drill!

Drill, baby, drill!

Remember, kiddies, liberals are the party of science!

Los Angeles City Council members have discovered how to cause earthquakes. Three councilmen think fracking may be the cause of Monday’s earthquake in the Santa Monica Mountains, and they want the city, state, and feds to do an in-depth review.

Councilmen Paul Koretz, Mike Bonin, and Bernard Parks Tuesday introduced a motion calling for the city, the U.S. Geological Survey, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to report on whether hydraulic fracturing caused the moderate 4.4-magnitude earthquake, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It is crucial to the health and safety of the City’s residents to understand the seismic impacts of oil and gas extraction activities in the City,” the motion says. “All high-pressure fracking and injection creates ‘seismic events.’ . . .  Active oil extraction activities are reportedly taking place on the Veteran’s Administration grounds in West Los Angeles, nearby the epicenter of the March 17, 2014, 4.4 earthquake.”

Parks, who seconded the motion, tells National Review Online that while fracking is “reportedly” happening near the epicenter, those who signed the motion weren’t completely sure. However, he adds that “earthquakes are happening in areas that are not historically earthquake prone, but they are in places where fracking is going on.”

I’m sorry to say Mike Bonin is my city councilman.

Let’s be honest, here. If Koretz, Parks, and Bonin genuinely think fracking caused an earthquake, they know nothing about earthquakes and are just fearing demons in the night. Earthquakes happen when adjoining tectonic plates, which are constantly in motion against each other, suddenly break and move with a jolt. Sometimes a little bit, as in Monday’s quake, sometimes a lot, as in the 2011 Tohoku quake in Japan. In seismically active areas, such as the western coast of North America, small quakes occur every day and have since long before anyone thought of the words “hydraulic fracturing.”

Here’s the technical information for Monday’s shaker. Note the depth: six miles. This is what a USGS geologist had to say when asked about fracking causing that quake:

However, opponents of the moratorium argue that fracking has not been proven to cause any health risks and that claims that it caused this earthquake are not realistic.

“My first impression is that sounds implausible,” seismologist Lucy Jones said. “The earthquake was so deep. Induced earthquakes are almost always shallower than this.”

In other words, yes you might get hit by a bolt from the blue, but that’s no reason to ban walking outdoors.

This call for a study (borrowing from the neverending studies tactic of NY Governor Cuomo) is just another delaying tactic in furtherance of their earlier motion to ban fracking within city limits.  Hydraulic fracturing opponents are using what’s called the “preventative principle” (1) to stop a promising technology that could do wonders for the economy, because the idea of oil and gas exploration goes against their hardcore environmentalist agenda. And then they find lackwit politicians who know nothing about the subject matter, but who are ever so happy to take activists’ donations and campaign help, and get them to pass laws serving that agenda — to the public’s detriment. Their hope is that through delay after delay and more and more burdensome regulations, they can kill what they oppose altogether.

No matter how discredited their propaganda, no matter how safe fracking is shown to be, no matter that even the Energy Secretary of the most left-leaning administration in US history declares it safe, no matter how much this city, this state, and this nation need the economic boost intelligent exploitation of our vast oil and gas resources would provide, fracking opponents continue to throw anything against the wall in the hopes of finding something that will convince people to support a ban.

And sometimes they find the fools they need.

RELATED: Ten myths about natural gas drilling. The UK government thinks fracking is safe. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter even thinks the evil magic of fracking can cause earthquakes far out at sea.

Footnote:
(1) Watch for words like “may,” “might,” “possible,” “could” and other weak words that don’t require any evidence to back them up, just the doubt and fear they create in the (they hope) credulous listener.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Mongolian Nazi Greens!!

**Posted by Phineas

As in headlines that make you say “huh?”

Mongolian Neo-Nazis rebrand as environmentalists to harass foreign business

Mongolian neo-Nazis have latched on to environmentalism as a way new way to fight the influence of foreigners in the country.

The group Tsagaan Khass, or the White Swastika, is now one of several neo-Nazi groups linking the country’s vast mineral resources to Mongolian nationalism, going so far as to launch raids on mining projects of foreign-owned companies to demand things like paperwork and soil samples.

“We used to talk about fighting with foreigners, but some time ago we realised that is not efficient, so our purpose changed from fighting foreigners in the streets to fighting the mining companies,” Tsagaan Khass leader, Ariunbold Altankhuum told Reuters.

The White Swastika got their start like so many Fascist and Neo-Nazi groups: economic difficulties combined with a resentment of foreigners and a firm belief that Mongolians are being cheated, the mix of which gets funneled into a violent nationalism. But, according to the Mongolian police, they represent a very small threat. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about sieg-heiling Mongol hordes sweeping off the steppes while singing Die Wacht am Rhein.

What’s odd (1) at first glance is the redirection into environmentalism. But it really isn’t, when you think about it; a love of Nature was a large component of German Romanticism, which influenced the development of the Nazis, who themselves were strong environmentalists. Hitler was an ardent environmentalist, so I’m not surprised his Mongolian fans would adopt it as part of their National Socialism.

Oh, yeah, that “Socialism” part. Fascism, and its specific Nazi variant, are products of the Left, falling under the broader umbrella of “Statism,” along with Progressivism, Socialism, and Communism. And all, to one degree or another, use environmentalism as a means of extending state control over individuals.

And, no, I’m not saying that Progressives are Nazis, though they both share roots and an unhealthy reverence for the State;  nor does it make one a totalitarian to want to take good care of the land and the sea. But stray a ways into Environmentalism as a religious ideology, and those pretty Greens start turning Red.

I wonder what the Mongolian is for “Watermelons?”

Footnotes:

(1) Aside from the combination of Nazis and Mongolia, which we all know is ludicrous; the Nazis are really hiding out in secret bases in Antarctica.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

New York: the Enviro-Luddites’ Fracking Insanity

**Posted by Phineas

"Treasure map"

“Treasure map”

One of the things about the environmental Left that drives me most nuts is its resistance to reason and empirical fact. Global warming is a good example: what started as a theory many years ago, that the Earth is warming dangerously and the climate heading for disastrous changes because of the carbon dioxide Man has been adding to the air, has been shown time and again in recent years by empirical observation to be false. There has been no statistically significant warming since the mid-90s, the polar bears are not dying out, and prediction after prediction made by the warming alarmists has failed to pan out. But, in the face of overwhelming evidence that should at least cause strong skepticism, they cling bitterly to their computer models — which haven’t been right, yet.

Similarly with radical environmentalists who oppose any and all development of hydrocarbon resources (coal, oil, natural gas), no matter what the actual research shows of its safety, no matter the reasonable measures taken to protect the environment, and no matter –perhaps especially regardless of– the economic benefits to people.

Take hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for example. That’s the extraction of natural gas and oil by forcing water into cracks in underground rock formations and widening them to release the resources. New York State is one of the states sitting atop the Marcellus Shale formation, which has been estimated to hold immense reserves of natural gas. In an article in the June 17th print edition of National Review (1), Ian Tuttle talks about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) Hamlet-like coy reticence (2) to develop the shale, in spite of the evident economic benefits from fracking for counties that have been hit hard by the “recovery” from the Great Recession and in spite of his own Health Department’s certification that fracking is safe. The article overall is worth reading, but one fact jumps out and that I want to share:

“Twenty-eight New York counties sit atop the Marcellus Shale, a natural gas bearing subterranean rock formation that also stretches across part of Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Geologists estimate that the entire region contains 489 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Given that a third of the Shale’s 55,000 square miles is in New York, the Empire State has access to a sizeable portion of that — certainly enough to supply much of its own in-state natural gas demand: a mere 1.1 trillion cubic feet each year.”

Think about that for a moment and let the implications sink in. Assuming for a moment that the natural gas is evenly spread throughout the Shale (I’m sure it isn’t, but what is there is substantial), there are roughly 163 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under New York, enough to meet the state’s needs for 140-150 years. Natural gas is cheap, clean fuel that could replace coal and oil in homes and businesses. Even if New York’s consumption suddenly doubled, there’s enough for decades, at least. And let’s not forget the the jobs created: in counties where fracking is underway, guys driving water trucks make $60,000 per year. I imagine New Yorkers would like to enjoy the cheap, safe fuel and the good-paying jobs, but their governor and their legislature have more important things in mind, like keeping the Green lobby happy.

New York isn’t the only state where this environmentalist madness has taken hold: my beloved California is sitting atop its own fracking pot of gold, but the Cult of Gaea is spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (as well as campaign cash) to fight it here, too.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is: the United States and many of her 50 states are in an economic mess, and yet radical environmentalists fight tooth and nail against one very powerful tool that can help rebuild prosperity, and they do it in the face of all evidence that the process is safe.

How much do you have to hate humanity to do that?

Footnotes:
(1) Sorry, no direct link is available. The issue has a five-article section on resource development. I highly recommend buying it or hunting it up at your local library.
(2) Meaning he’s afraid to go against a legislature largely owned by the enviro-lobby, and he wants the lobby’s cash and campaign work for when he runs for president in 2016, what’s right for his state be damned.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Britain’s Green chickens are coming home to roost, as will ours, soon

**Posted by Phineas

Christopher Booker in last Saturday’s Telegraph: “It’s payback time…”

As the snow of the coldest March since 1963 continues to fall, we learn that we have barely 48 hours’ worth of stored gas left to keep us warm, and that the head of our second-largest electricity company, SSE, has warned that our generating capacity has fallen so low that we can expect power cuts to begin at any time. It seems the perfect storm is upon us.

The grotesque mishandling of Britain’s energy policy by the politicians of all parties, as they chase their childish chimeras of CO2-induced global warming and windmills, has been arguably the greatest act of political irresponsibility in our history.

Three more events last week brought home again just what a mad bubble of make-believe these people are living in. Under the EU’s Large Combustion Plants Directive, we lost two more major coal-fired power stations, Didcot A and Cockenzie, capable of contributing no less than a tenth to our average electricity demands. We saw a French state-owned company, EDF, being given planning permission to spend £14?billion on two new nuclear reactors in Somerset, but which it says it will only build, for completion in 10 years’ time, if it is guaranteed a subsidy that will double the price of its electricity. Then, hidden in the small print of the Budget, were new figures for the fast-escalating tax the Government introduces next week on every ton of CO2 emitted by fossil-fuel-powered stations, which will soon be adding billions of pounds more to our electricity bills every year.

Be sure to read the rest. Not only is the government in London heavily subsidizing uneconomic wind farms and granting needless subsidies in tribute to get nuclear plants built, but they’re doing all they can to drive coal plants out of business, even though coal plants are necessary as backup for those times when the wind doesn’t blow. Hence the warnings about blackouts in the dead of winter. Britain is looking at a new Dark Ages, one wholly of its own doing.

And before we cluck our tongues at our cousins’ folly, this is just the future Obama and the environmentalist movement would lead us to:

Booker is right that Britain’s energy policy is insanity. But what can we say about a nation –us– that sits atop almost unimaginably immense energy resources, enough to restore the cheap energy needed for prosperity and make us nearly energy independent, and yet fights tooth and nail  against developing it in the name of battling a problem that does not exist?

Madness!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Your tax dollars in action: feds fund computer game to fight global warming

**Posted by Phineas

AKA, “A problem that does not exist.” But, hey, it’s only $100,000 of our money:

A new video game featuring a black alien female superhero delivered to Earth to fight global warming is about to hit the market thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Obama administration.

The National Endowment for the Arts is funding the Spelman College of Atlanta, Ga.’s multi-episode game called “HERadventure.” In the grant announcement made last year, the NEA said the story “focuses on a young female superhero sent to Earth to save her own planet from devastation because of climate changes caused by social issues impacting women and girls.”

So, since they can’t prove man-produced CO2 causes climate change, it’s now the result of the Republican “War on women?” It was inevitable, I suppose, conflating two myths into one. I’m surprised they haven’t blamed climate change on racism, too.

Oh, wait. They have.

Meanwhile, it looks like Senator Coburn has another item for his “Waste Book.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Fighting for good union jobs, Obama administration buys…. foreign cars

**Posted by Phineas

I’m sure UAW will understand:

President Barack Obama’s administration, which set a goal of buying only alternative- technology vehicles for its fleet by 2015, cut purchases of hybrid and electric models by one-third last year and bought mostly Asian brands.

About 54 percent of the 1,801 alt-fuel vehicles purchased by U.S. government agencies last year were built by Hyundai Motor Co. (005380), Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (7211) and Honda Motor Co., according to data obtained under a Freedom of Information request from the U.S. General Services Administration, which coordinates most vehicle purchases.

The Korean-made hybrid version of the Hyundai Sonata unseated Ford Motor Co. (F)’s Fusion hybrid as the top-selling alternative-technology vehicle purchased for the federal fleet. U.S. hybrid purchases in previous years were made almost exclusively from domestic automakers.

The problem is that they’re trapped by their own Green ideology: committed to “alternative fuel” vehicles, they have to buy from foreign companies because there aren’t enough models produced in the US. (And some have a bad habit of catching fire…)

But try to explain that to the northern auto worker who’s facing layoffs from declining sales. Wasn’t the whole point of the bailout and partial nationalization to save their jobs, no matter what the cost to the taxpayer? Shouldn’t the Obama administration “buy American?” (Including fire-proof suits?) Shouldn’t the US autoworkers being wondering what in heck they’re getting in return for their blind loyalty, votes, and millions in dues funneled to Democrats?

(And I’d be glad if they did start asking those questions, since it might provide some much-needed enlightenment.)

Honestly, I’ve no problem with the government buying cars from whatever source, just as long as they’re getting the best deal for our tax money. (Of course, by definition that leaves out almost anything that’s “Green,” because of the heavy government subsidies required to make them competitive in the marketplace.)

I’m just amused at the knots the administration ties itself in, shafting one client group to please another. One of these days, all those patronage balls the Democrats are juggling are going to come crashing down.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Interior Department destroys 100-year old small business

**Posted by Phineas

Because, y’know, we must all sacrifice for Gaia (1). Mary Katherine Ham summarizes at Hot Air:

It’s just a 100-year-old company and California’s only surviving cannery, a sustainable, family-owned operation employing 30 people. The Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been in a seven-year fight with the federal government and environmental groups over whether it’s 40-year lease would be renewed this week. The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity. After buying and operating the oyster farm without incident— they were even featured as outstanding environmental stewards by the National Parks Service— the Lunnys learned in 2005 they were accused of bringing environmental damage to an area the NPS and environmentalists were anxious to designate as the nation’s first federally recognized marine wilderness.

And thus Secretary Salazar has decided to shut down a farm that accounts for 40% of the oyster harvest in California, in violation of the original lease agreement and on the basis of  “science” driven by an environmentalist agenda:

The trouble started in 2005, when Kevin Lunny, a local rancher, purchased the oyster farm from Johnson Oyster Co. He was required to get a special-use permit from the California Coastal Commission, which had placed a cease-and-desist order on the property as a result of previous problems.

In the midst of those negotiations and discussions about extending the 2012 lease, the Park Service came out with accusations of environmental damage, setting off a series of dueling scientific reports.

“What has happened is the National Academy of Sciences has shown that all the claims made by the National Park Service are wrong,” Lunny said. “It gives us a clean bill of health.”

Lunny and others claim Jon Jarvis, the Pacific West regional director of the National Park Service, deliberately misrepresented data to bolster his own ideological agenda.

Jarvis apologized Tuesday for mistakes that were made on the initial report but defended the Park Service’s handling of the science.

“They didn’t say our research was wrong. They just said it was incomplete,” Jarvis said. “What there really is here is a disagreement among scientists about the level of impact on the environment. That does not mean that one side is guilty of misconduct.”

The battle intensified in 2007, when the Park Service issued a report claiming, among other things, that oyster farming reduced the number of harbor seals and damaged eelgrass beds.

Lunny, who is trying to persuade the Park Service to renew a 40-year occupancy agreement in 2012, was furious. His case was helped by Corey Goodman, a biological scientist who reviewed Park Service studies on oysters.

They accused Park Service officials of fabricating environmental problems to drive the oyster company off the bay where explorer Sir Francis Drake purportedly landed more than 430 years ago.

Be sure to read the whole article. At best, the Park Service study was incompetent; at worst, it was a hit job meant to serve a Green objective (2), rather than objective science. Whatever the truth, a venerable business has been wrecked, livelihoods ruined, and the economy of California’s rural north, which has already suffered terribly (3) at the hands of environmental extremists, takes another blow.

This is another example of Washington-as-Leviathan, where abstract policy goals (and big donor groups) come before the needs of individual people, and science is a tool to be used to reach that goal, rather than a source of information leading to a wise, just decision.

(And didn’t Obama want to depoliticize science? Never mind…)

Of course, in the midst of this sad story is some irony, too. The Lunny’s farm is near Inverness, in Marin County, which is infamous in its liberalism. While we don’t know how the people of the area voted in the last election, Marin as a whole went 75% for Obama. (For comparison, California overall voted “only” 60% for the President.) Thus I think it’s safe to say a majority of the affected people likely were Obama voters.

How’s that for gratitude, folks?

That bit of snark aside, what’s happening here is unjust and needless, and one hopes that pressure from the public and Senator Feinstein’s office will find a way to undo the harm caused by Secretary Salazar’s arrogance. You can see a short documentary on the Lunny’s battle at Hot Air.

Afterthought: I suppose one can also take grim satisfaction at the thought of rich Bay-Area liberals having to pay more for their precious shellfish, given that Salazar’s decision will massively contract the available supply. Nah. They’ll never make the connection.

Footnotes:
(1) Except for the High Priests of the faith, such as Al Gore, who can jet around the globe as much as they need and just buy themselves absolution via the carbon credits scam.
(2) Of course, that’s S.O.P for Ken Salazar, who was found by a federal judge to have misrepresented the science in a report used to justify a moratorium on drilling permits in the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
(3) Other than marijuana, now that logging, mining, and fishing have been all but killed. If you eliminate legitimate industries, people will turn to what they have to in order to survive.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

King @MikeBloomberg: Green lifestyle for thee, but not for me!

Haha. Another one from the Dept. of You Can’t Make This Up – via the NY Post:

Who’s full of hot air?

Mayor Bloomberg wants to maintain his politically correct credentials on global warming — but hates to get into a hot car when he leaves an air conditioned building.

The solution his aides came up with could easily have doubled as a stunt on David Letterman’s show.

In full view of bemused tourists and other passers-by, workers yesterday performed what looked like a comedy routine: They hoisted a standard room air conditioner to a side window of one of the mayor’s SUVs parked in the City Hall lot to see if it would fit.

If the strange plan gets a green light, the units would be plugged into electrical outlets and cause less pollution than running the vehicles’ own A/Cs on an idling engine.

“This is an experiment to be used on extremely hot days like the types we saw last week,” said mayoral spokesman Stu Loeser.

“Even with the vehicles parked in the shade, the temperatures inside can quickly rise to more than 100 degrees.”

[…]

But, officials said, they still wanted to chill out the vehicles for the mayor, the cops who protect him, and the heavy load of communications equipment they say might otherwise overheat.

“There is far less emissions corresponding to the power of a single air conditioner on the grid than idling a V-8 engine,” Loeser said.

The Post’s photo (video at the link) says it all:

Bloomberg's SUV AC unit

Chillin’. Photo courtesy of NY Post: Chad Rachman.

LMAO.

Jammie Wearing Fool is rightly fired up over the Mayor’s heatwave hypocrisy:

Well, welcome to the real world. Do what the rest of us do: Roll down the windows for a couple of minutes, get the air going and then roll them up. I mean, really, can this clown be any more pampered? I’d probably just point and laugh at this idiot, but his constant nagging and finger-wagging has earned him the derision. Nobody would care if he didn’t spend so much of his time lecturing everyone else on how to live.

When temperatures hit the high 90s a week ago, Bloomberg visited the Bronx Works senior center and called on New Yorkers to turn off “all non-essential appliances.”

So the rest of the schlubs should sweat their asses off, but we just cannot have Emperor Bloomberg sit in a warm truck for even a minute.

This is, of course, a pattern with Democrats – whose double standards are never more obvious than when it comes to “green living.” See Al Gore, John Edwards, the late Senator Ted Kennedy and many others for more …

Can’t wait for the next hypocritical photo moment from Bloomberg. I predict he’ll get caught in the act with a Big Gulp while running to get into his “cooled down” gas guzzling SUV, where a salty, trans-fat meal awaits  …

Green hypocrisy? Nah…

**Posted by Phineas

Once again, some sanctimonious celebrity Gaea-cultist who wants us to cripple our economies and lifestyles to save the world from a problem that doesn’t exist, global warming, gets caught with his hand in the CO2-cookie jar:

Musician Will.I.Am has been criticised for arriving at a climate change debate in a private helicopter, producing the same amount of CO2 most people do in a month.

The Voice judge had been meeting climate change experts at Oxford University as part of a guest speaking role.

Despite his environmentally-conscious stance on green issues, the Black Eyed Peas rapper, 37, chose to take a private helicopter to the venue.

It is understood the journey, which is a 286 mile round-trip from London, used 71.5 gallons of fuel and released three-quarters of a ton of CO2 into the atmosphere.

He even tweeted pictures of the so-called “hip.hop.copter” for fans to admire, after landing at the Oxford’s University Parks.

From there, the singer used a pedal cycle to travel the remaining few hundred yards to the Radcliffe Observatory Weather Centre.

See? He’s committed to a Green lifestyle! The wealthy, globally conscious one-percenter used a bike to reduce his carbon footprint! An example for all of us: environmentally safe, fossil-fuel free, it’s enough to make any member of the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming swoon in religious ecstasy.

And pay no attention to the helicopter; I’m sure it will be converted to algae-power real soon.

RELATED: Meet some more elite eco-hypocrites: liberal fascist NYT columnist and China admirer Thomas Friedman and “do as I say, not as I do” Robert Redford. Oh, and let’s not forget the high priest himself, Al Gore.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)