Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

AFTER YOU HAVE READ THE B.S. – DIRTY HARRY REID IS BEHIND THIS -Harry Reid, Son’s Solar Power Scheme Linked to Bundy Ranch Standoff

Follow the money and you’ll inevitably find out what’s really going on.
In the case of Clark County, Nevada, rancher Cliven Bundy’s standoff with federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management, the leading explanation has been that he hasn’t paid grazing fees and his cattle threaten endangered desert tortoises in the Gold Butte area.

Harry and rory
But the fact of the BLM bringing in hundreds of armed rangers with trucks and helicopters seemed over the top for protection of a tortoise that has clearly survived despite more than a century of ranching by the Bundy family, and which the BLM had previously been slaughtering with the excuse that it lacked funding to care for the animals.
As reported by the Associated Press in August, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Southern Las Vegas, funded by the BLM, was looking at killing half of its 1,400 tortoises because it could not afford to keep its doors open since the housing collapse resulted in less income from developers.
So why does the BLM profess to care so much about the fate of tortoises, who seem to be doing fine, in the Gold Butte area?
Certainly it’s not all of the answer because the BLM dispute with Bundy goes back to 1993, but part of the answer may be that Gold Butte also lies inside what the BLM has called the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, part of the federal government’s plan to put solar power plants and factories on BLM-controlled lands in six Southwestern states.
As part of the plan for the Dry Lake solar zone, any solar developers are expected to pay into a fund to “mitigate” the Gold Butte area. However, the “mitigation” activities can’t take place with cattle grazing in the area. If the mitigation doesn’t take place, no money for the BLM.
One of the companies interested in building a solar plant on BLM-controlled land is the Chinese firm ENN Energy Group, which wants to build a $5 billion solar facility in the Nevada desert near Laughlin. ENN is represented by lawyer Rory Reid, Sen. Harry Reid’s son. The Chinese firm also wants to build on a 9,000-acre plot in Clark County, where rancher Cliven Bundy is holding off the BLM, and where Rory Reid used to be the chairman of the County Commission.

According to Reuters, the County Commission voted to sell ENN the public plot of land for $4.5 million, a fraction of its appraised value of $38.6 million.
Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid has been one of ENN’s most prominent supporters. According to Reuters, he recruited the company for the project during a trip to China in 2011. Reuters also reports that Reid has tried to pressure the state’s largest power company, NV Energy, to become ENN’s first customer.
Sen. Reid has had other links to dubious power projects, including Amonix, a company with no record of success that received huge tax breaks then collapsed. There was also Nevada Geothermal, which received $98 million in federal loan guarantees but in a recent filing with the SEC revealed that it is undergoing substantial problems that threaten its ability to continue as a company.
Both Reids have denied ever discussing the ENN project or working together in any way on it, but the paper trails suggest otherwise.
A Clark County commissioner recently said that supporters of Cliven Bundy “better have funeral plans,” and the situation seems primed and ready for violence, with hundreds of federal rangers on one side, and ranchers and militia members on the other.
If blood ends up being shed over a desert tortoise, the trail of gore may lead straight to Harry Reid’s desk in the Senate chambers.


The US Can (and Should) Be Energy Self-Sufficient

The United States has had an extremely difficult time perfecting an energy policy that makes sense. The bill forming Department of Energy was signed into law in 1977. There are some good things that came out this in the form of standardization and unification of power distribution into the regional, national, and (with Canada) international power grid. However, one of the main goals given the DOE at its formation was to lead the US to energy self-sufficiency.

After more than a quarter century, we are more dependent on foreign oil than ever.

This wouldn’t be surprising if we had no energy resources. However, we are one of the most energy-rich countries in the world. We own more in-the-ground fossil fuel, than any country. We own vast deposits of uranium. We have great potential for more hydroelectric production. We have many resources for other alternative sources of energy. To understand our place in the energy world, consider these facts:

Total US Oil Reserves:
21 billion barrels proven reserves (CIA World Factbook)
134 billion barrels other estimated recoverable reserves (US Dept. of Interior)
0.727 billion barrels strategic petroleum reserves (CIA World Factbook)
155.727 billion barrels total US recoverable reserves

Other Fossil Fuels
2,175 billion barrels of recoverable oil in shale (Bureau of Land Management)
4116 billion equivalent barrels of oil in recoverable US Coal reserves (US DOE)

Total Worldwide Reserves
1350 billion barrels of oil reserves world-wide (CIA World Factbook)

Adding the estimated recoverable reserves to the proven reserves, the United States ranks third among all nations in the size of our oil reserves, slightly behind Saudi Arabia, and Canada.

The US contains the largest coal and shale oil deposits in the world. The US has 161% more oil in shale than in the total world oil reserves. Even more amazing, there is enough energy in known US coal reserves alone to eclipse that of all the oil on earth by 400%.

Processing petroleum from oil shell involves mining the oil-bearing shale, crushing the stone, and passing it through a high temperature retort. We currently have the technology to do this, but because it is only competitive when the petroleum price is high, the technological development has not yet advanced into research on reducing the cost of production.

One technique that may make the process competitive with deep well petroleum is that of in situ retorting in which the oil shell is reached by drilling shafts through which heat is pumped releasing the oil which is then pumped to the surface. Certainly, as world oil prices go up oil shell will not only be viable, but attractive.

The myth that oil from coal is not economically feasible has been disproven by South Africa. During the years of the world trade embargo against apartheid, coal-rich South Africa developed a process, and built several plants, each of which produce about 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The Chinese are in process of building as many as 27 of these plants in various parts of China.

Beyond the possibility of converting coal to gasoline, coal holds the spot as the number one producer of electricity in the United States. Even with the huge environmental burden, taxation, and political interference coal still remains the mainstay of the electric industry and one of the most important sources of heat for buildings. When the battery and quick charge technology is finally perfected to have total electric vehicles, it will be coal energy in the form of power grid electricity that drives those cars.

So why can’t we do what South Africa did? Why can’t our oil reserves produce the in range of Saudi Arabia or Canada? Why can’t we get research going to make our Shale oil reserves competitive?

I don’t think it is the fault of the DOE. I think it is the fault of some bad policy coming out of other parts of our federal mega-bureaucracy.
Politically and militarily we had strategic reasons to buy from other countries – if we use their oil, we are saving ours for future use, and we became such a valuable customer to oil producing countries they became our “friends” during the cold war. Both of those are probably valid strategies, and both served their purpose; but they also helped drive us to foreign energy dependency.

However, that was not the reason that US oil production dropped precipitously over the years. The main reason was environmental. In part this was caused by regulations by the EPA, and by such things as species protection. But way beyond that was the general liberal mindset against profits from big companies, distribution of wealth through taxation, excessive time and legal interference on new permitting, and outright banning of drilling in large tracts of known oil reserves. It became too costly and extremely time consuming to do exploratory drilling and to sink new wells into currently producing fields. The Global Warming fiasco with the almost unanimous blind support of the left just about did in the fossil fuel producers in America.

If we had taken half the so called “stimulus” money and put it directly into increased domestic fuel production, we would have seen the economy turn around, and energy cost, thus the cost of everything else, going down. Our number one priority should be to become energy independent as soon as possible, and number two should be to start advancing our energy technologies in all areas.

Sarah Palin Wonders Why the California Environmentalists Have That Much Power to Put Farm Workers and Farmers Out of Work to Protect Minnows That Are Really Bait

Sarah Palin on California Delta Smelt Minnow: In Alaska We Call Them Bait


House Republicans to Axe Dems’ Global Warming Committee

By Jon Ward – The Daily Caller

House Republicans will dissolve the special committee set up by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to study global warming, they said Wednesday.

“We have pledged to save taxpayers’ money by reducing waste and duplication in Congress. The Select Committee on Global Warming — which was created to provide a political forum to promote Washington Democrats’ job-killing national energy tax — was a clear example, and it will not continue in the 112th Congress,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, Ohio Republican.

Boehner is set to become Speaker of the House when Republicans assume control in the new Congress next year.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammil criticized the decision to end the panel that the outgoing Speaker set up when Democrats took power in the House in 2007.

“It is very disappointing that the House Republican leadership has decided not to prioritize addressing energy independence and climate change in the 112th Congress,” Hammil said. “Disbanding the select committee does not diminish the urgent need to act on these very critical issues.”

Hammil said that “since the committee’s creation, Congress increased vehicle fuel efficiency for the first time in 30 years, made the largest investment in clean energy in the nation’s history, and the House passed sweeping climate change legislation.”

“The Select Committee held dozens of hearings and briefings to educate members and the public on the efforts of the Congress. In addition, the Committee played an important role in holding BP accountable after the Gulf oil rig explosion and ensuring that the public had access to all pertinent information about the resulting spill and cleanup.”

U.S. Issues New Rules on Offshore Drilling; Cuba begins deep-water drilling 2011

The Interior Department tightened its rules on offshore oil and gas operations on Thursday but left in place the moratorium on deepwater drilling that has left oil executives frustrated and Gulf Coast officials fuming.

The new rules — governing well casing and cementing, blowout preventers, safety certification, emergency response and worker training — provide offshore drillers with clarity on the terms under which drilling will resume when the current freeze ends.

The main conditions had already been telegraphed by the department in a safety report issued in May and in two notices to offshore operators handed down in June in response to the blowout of a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20…

…Interior Secretary Ken Salazar presented the new rules in a speech Thursday morning, calling them a fundamental change that will guide all future leasing and development decisions in the gulf, the Arctic and elsewhere.

“We are raising the bar for safety, oversight and environmental protection at every stage of the drilling process,” he said in the speech, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars here.

The rules take effect immediately under emergency rule-making powers…

…Because of current U.S. policy, U.S. companies are prohibited from developing oil fields that lie in Cuban waters and come within 50 miles of Florida. However, Cuba is exploring and potentially developing these oil fields, estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey to possess more oil than the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and Cuba is partnering with China and other countries, such as Spain, France, and Canada.

The Castro Regime will begin drilling off the coast of Florida next year and will go deeper than the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April The Miami Heraldreported…


Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills.
What it can and must do is radically simplify its tax, health-care, retirement and financial systems, each of which is a complete mess. But this is the good news. It means they can each be redesigned to achieve their legitimate purposes at much lower cost and, in the process, revitalize the economy.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund released itsannual review of U.S. economic policy. Its summary contained these bland words about U.S. fiscal policy: “Directors welcomed the authorities’ commitment to fiscal stabilization, but noted that a larger than budgeted adjustment would be required to stabilize debt-to-GDP.”
But delve deeper, and you will find that the IMF has effectively pronounced the U.S. bankrupt. Section 6 of the July 2010 Selected Issues Paper says: “The U.S. fiscal gap associated with today’s federal fiscal policy is huge for plausible discount rates.” It adds that “closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14 percent of U.S. GDP.”
The fiscal gap is the value today (the present value) of the difference between projected spending (including servicing official debt) and projected revenue in all future years.
Double Our Taxes
To put 14 percent of gross domestic product in perspective, current federal revenue totals 14.9 percent of GDP. So the IMF is saying that closing the U.S. fiscal gap, from the revenue side, requires, roughly speaking, an immediate and permanent doubling of our personal-income, corporate and federal taxes as well as the payroll levy set down in the Federal Insurance Contribution Act.
Such a tax hike would leave the U.S. running a surplus equal to 5 percent of GDP this year, rather than a 9 percent deficit. So the IMF is really saying the U.S. needs to run a huge surplus now and for many years to come to pay for the spending that is scheduled. It’s also saying the longer the country waits to make tough fiscal adjustments, the more painful they will be.
Is the IMF bonkers?
No. It has done its homework. So has the Congressional Budget Office whose Long-Term Budget Outlook, released in June, shows an even larger problem.
‘Unofficial’ Liabilities
Based on the CBO’s data, I calculate a fiscal gap of $202 trillion, which is more than 15 times the official debt. This gargantuan discrepancy between our “official” debt and our actual net indebtedness isn’t surprising. It reflects what economists call the labeling problem. Congress has been very careful over the years to label most of its liabilities “unofficial” to keep them off the books and far in the future.
For example, our Social Security FICA contributions are called taxes and our future Social Security benefits are called transfer payments. The government could equally well have labeled our contributions “loans” and called our future benefits “repayment of these loans less an old age tax,” with the old age tax making up for any difference between the benefits promised and principal plus interest on the contributions.
The fiscal gap isn’t affected by fiscal labeling. It’s the only theoretically correct measure of our long-run fiscal condition because it considers all spending, no matter how labeled, and incorporates long-term and short-term policy.
$4 Trillion Bill
How can the fiscal gap be so enormous?
Simple. We have 78 million baby boomers who, when fully retired, will collect benefits from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that, on average, exceed per-capita GDP. The annual costs of these entitlements will total about $4 trillion in today’s dollars. Yes, our economy will be bigger in 20 years, but not big enough to handle this size load year after year.
This is what happens when you run a massive Ponzi scheme for six decades straight, taking ever larger resources from the young and giving them to the old while promising the young their eventual turn at passing the generational buck.
Herb Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under U.S. President Richard Nixon, coined an oft-repeated phrase: “Something that can’t go on, will stop.” True enough. Uncle Sam’s Ponzi scheme will stop. But it will stop too late.
And it will stop in a very nasty manner. The first possibility is massive benefit cuts visited on the baby boomers in retirement. The second is astronomical tax increases that leave the young with little incentive to work and save. And the third is the government simply printing vast quantities of money to cover its bills.
Worse Than Greece
Most likely we will see a combination of all three responses with dramatic increases in poverty, tax, interest rates and consumer prices. This is an awful, downhill road to follow, but it’s the one we are on. And bond traders will kick us miles down our road once they wake up and realize the U.S. is in worse fiscal shape than Greece.
Some doctrinaire Keynesian economists would say any stimulus over the next few years won’t affect our ability to deal with deficits in the long run.
This is wrong as a simple matter of arithmetic. The fiscal gap is the government’s credit-card bill and each year’s 14 percent of GDP is the interest on that bill. If it doesn’t pay this year’s interest, it will be added to the balance.
Demand-siders say forgoing this year’s 14 percent fiscal tightening, and spending even more, will pay for itself, in present value, by expanding the economy and tax revenue.
My reaction? Get real, or go hang out with equally deluded supply-siders. Our country is broke and can no longer afford no- pain, all-gain “solutions.”
(Laurence J. Kotlikoff is a professor of economics at Boston University and author of “Jimmy Stewart Is Dead: Ending the World’s Ongoing Financial Plague with Limited Purpose Banking.” The opinions expressed are his own.)
To contact the writer of this column: Laurence Kotlikoff at