USAID's goal should be real development, not this kind of spooky anti-development.
Entrepreneurship has been the backbone of the United States economy since its inception. The good news is that Americans are still entrepreneurial and willing to take risks in search of greater rewards both financially and personally. But the U.S. must ensure that its laws and regulations do not stifle innovation and entrepreneurship.
Former Reagan Administration official Scot Faulkner lauds President Trump's and Secretary of State Tillerson's plans to overhaul the U.S. State Department, which he calls not only one of the most bloated bureaucracies but also one of the least effective -- largely because of the internationalist -- almost anti-American -- attitude that prevails among senior officials. USAID alone has wasted over a trillion dollars on enriching dictators and useless projects that have not produced lasting results. It is way past time to clean house.
West Virginia University professor James Smith shares insights about leadership -- and notes that leaders are sorely needed to help organize societies for the common good. Some leaders have very public faces, while others toil in near total anonymity, but both extremes are vital to the health of a society, Smith contends.
It is more than hypocritical, says African writer Steven Lyazi, for rich Westerners to demand that Africa not develop and use its rich fossil fuels, hydro power, and nuclear energy resources but instead settle for intermittent, expensive, and insufficient "energy" from wind turbines and solar arrays. Those rich Westerners still get most of their energy from conventional sources -- and Africans, he says, are no longer going to tolerate this racism.
CFACT energy policy advisor Marita Noon reports that, having failed to destroy U.S. oil and gas producers via increasing its own oil production, has now signed an OPEC agreement to cut back production -- largely because the artifically low price of oil was hurting producers worldwide.
CFACT Senior Policy Analyst Paul Driessen cuts to the point -- that billions of people in Africa, india, and elsewhere are systematically being denied reliable access (or any access) to electricity by cold-hearted bureaucrats and elitist governments who have decided for these people that no electricity is better than fossil fuel electricity (or even hydro). Yet when people do gain access to affordable energy, their productivity can skyrocket.
Oil prices at the pump fell hard, then began creeping back up -- even though crude oil prices have not rebounded. One reason is an explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in California that has bumped that state's price by 20 cents a gallon, but if the steelworkers union strike expands the impacts could grow . Meanwhile, the Saudis, who concocted the scheme that saw the dramatic drop in prices, are happy to see the rise in the price at the pump.
The radical Green push for colleges and universities to divest themselves from investment in fossil fuel companies is misguided, immoral, lethal, and, yes, racist. While Western civilization has seen an 11-fold increase in wealth, a doubling of lifespans, and health and prosperity unprecedented in human history, nearly 1.5 billion still live without the benefits of modern technology. While China (which will ignore the bigots) has linked nearly its entire population to the power grid, over 300 million in India and more than twice that number in sub-Saharan Africa lack even the simplest of modern amenities that electric power and motorized transportation afford. CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen asks, "What right do divestment activists and climate change alarmists have to deny Earth's most destitute people access to electricity and motor fuels, jobs, and better lives?"
The once-respected Piedmont Environmental Council has been shamed by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Virginia Assistant Attorney General Richard Mahevich for misdeeds surrounding its sale of Liberty Farm to organic farmer Martha Boneta. The PEC had inserted language into an easement agreement with Ms. Boneta and the VOF that benefitted PEC member Phil Thomas, who then took various actions against Ms. Boneta in a blatant attempt to force her to abandon the property she had turned from a dump into a profitable operation. Now the Virginia legislature is considering legislation to curb the power of land trusts.
Included in the Obama Administration's "Unified Agenda" for 2015 are new, job-killing standards for ground-level ozone that are the product of a friendly lawsuit from the Sierra Club. These rules the President put on hold in 2011 in an effort to reduce “regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover" -- or maybe for fear they would harm his reelection chances in 2012. The new regulations will mean that, depending on the final rule, 76% to 96% of the country—including some national parks where the natural background levels for ozone are 65 to 67 parts per billion—will be out of compliance. This will deal a crushing blow to U.S. economic recovery -- and the Sierra Club and the President know and heartily approve of this tragic outcome.
The eco-imperialism of the West continues to plague the nations of Africa and other developing nations. Secretary of State John Kerry even told Africans not to create new (more efficient) farms because the rich First World does not want them to contribute to "carbon pollution," as if that were something to fear. The shameless patronism of the new colonialist is dcirectly responsible for millions of deaths in Africa, india, and elsewhere, but in their own eyes the Green gurus believe their phony cause of "saving the planet" is more noble than saving human lives.
One of the motivators behind the Scotland independence movement is that the U.K. government takes all of the revenue from Scotland's sizable oil and gas production, with the perceived result that this holds back Scotland's economic growth. Similarly, many American states are realizing that the federal government's ownership and control of land (much of it federally owned or seized) is limiting local economic growth via policies that make little sense to local residents. The push for local control is fast becoming a burning desire of growing numbers of people across America -- and the world.
Holding Big Green accountable: Electrify Africa initiatives should finally trump environmentalist opposition to big power plants
CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen says that Big Green groups, which demand accountability from corporations and denounce all projects requiring fossil fuel energy, refuse to be held accountable for the death and destruction that results from their vetoing of electricity, food (including Golden Rice), and life-saving technologies to the poor in India, African nations, and other nations lacking adequate infrastructure. Some countries are fighting back against these unwanted pests -- Canada took away Greenpeace's nonprofit status, while India has banned the use of foreign NGO money to support domestic campaigns.
Paul Driessen explains that the Deep Ecologists and their allies who endorse "sustainability," the "precautionary principle," and other barriers to resource development that would improve human lives must answer for the millions of premature (often women and children) deaths that are the result of their policies. He says these people are callous and indifferent to human suffering.