In a week of big news stories, few noticed the 7-year anniversary of Obama’s $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—signed into law on February 17, 2009. Commonly known as the “Stimulus Bill,” Politico calls it “one of the Administration’s most consequential and least popular initiatives.” In fact, according to Politico, “The package of tax cuts and government spending…became so unpopular that the word ‘stimulus’ disappeared from the Administration’s rhetoric.” Despite the bill’s reputation, on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden embarked on a three-city victory tour to celebrate the anniversary of the act for which he oversaw the implementation. His first stop was New Orleans. [...]
In a landmark decision that is as uplifting for property rights advocates as it is devastating for land trusts throughout the United States, the Virginia Supreme Court on February 12 overwhelmingly ruled in favor of a small Loudoun County winery in its multi-year battle with one of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups. By a 5-2 margin, the Virginia Supremes upheld a lower court decision that Chrysalis Vineyards’ plans to upgrade its facilities did not violate the terms of a conservation easement on the property held by Wetlands America Trust (WAT), on behalf of Ducks Unlimited (DU). The case, Wetlands America [...]
CFACT energy advisor Marita Noon outlines research being done in Texas on recycling produced water for reuse in hydraulic fracturing operations -- a move that, if as successful in field trials as in initial tests, will provde to be highly beneficial on multiple fronts -- including the Oklahoma earthquake front.
It is hard to blame Dominion Resources for trying to find another way to generate energy, thanks to the Obama war against coal. But placing wind turbines on top of beautiful mountains would ruin the entire area for tourism, say local residents whose livelihoods have already been tarnished by the White House.
Wyoming farmer Andy Johnson is the unlikely target of an EPA vendetta -- facing tens of millions of dollars in fines for daring to build a stock pond -- which the Clean Water Act specifically bars the agency from regulating -- on his property after obtaining all the required state permits. Meanwhile, the agency is facing no penalties at all for its massive spill of metals-laden water into the Animas River in New Mexico.
The agency that contaminated the Animas River is about to start regulating water that may be in your backyard
Unless a federal judge issues a preliminary injunction, the definition of the “Waters of the U.S.” will change on August 28—giving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate the water in your backyard (even the water that might be in your backyard due to a heavy rain). Even, according to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey: “any area where agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years.” Thirty-one states, in four districts, have filed motions with the federal courts to block the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) from beginning to enforce the new “Waters [...]
Biodiesel and ethanol are killers -- and thieves of fuel efficiency, engine life, and pocketbooks. They exist in our society primarily thanks to corruptible politicians who took advantage of an "oil crisis" to entrench themselves into the American automobile. They typically reduce gas mileage, increase engine wear, and create a multitude of other problems for consumers -- including higher expenses for transportation.
Cronyism once again rears its ugly head, as Big Conservation seeks to infringe upon the rights of American property owners to use their land lawfully for profit and for the benefit of customers who make their businesses grow. This time. it is a small Virginia winery, but next time it may be you wanting to add a barbecue pit or even a hot tub. Hopefully, the courts will side with the property owners this time -- but we must be eternally vigilant against these interlopers who seek godlike status in our society.
The behemoth that is the federal bureaucracy is wholly unaccountable to the people whom they are now pushing around via massive new regulations -- Obama style -- that take away private property rights without due process or even a hearing. Washington is out of control and must be reined in,
Executive Order 13690 is a massive overreach of illegal federal authority over what ought to be locally determined floodplain management standards.
Once again, a President has designated land for national monuments without the advice and consent of Congress -- an action unchecked during the Bush years after President Clinton's highly controversial designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah. These land grabs may sound noble, but whenever federal officials replace state and local land managers, they tend to create problems for continuing use of the land and even surrounding areas. This is particularly true of Brown's Canyon in Colorado, says the Colorado Cattlemen's Association.
Raisin growers Marvin and Laura Horne have challenged a 66-year-old USDA regulation that allows the government to seize up to half a grower's raisin crop for forced resale overseas at discounted prices. The stated purpose is to keep the domestic price for raisins artificially high, but the Hornes claim that the seizure of their crop amounts to an unconstitutional taking without adequate compensation - and now the case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The federal ethanol mandate mut be rescinded, say CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen. Nearly 40% of the U.S. corn crop is devoted to ethanol, and this requires enormous amounts of irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gasoline or diesel fuel to grow, harvest, and ship the corn -- and then to ship the ethanol. While corn growers are protected by the mandate, they are making money -- but at the expense of chicken, turkey, egg, and hog farmers who are paying an extra $100 billion a year in feed costs. Moreover, energy from oil and gas drilling is much less harmful to the environment -- especially given the high usage of water, the unbearable flow of life-killing nutrients into the Gulf of Mexico, and of course the negative impacts on gasoline and diesel engines from the added ethanol (and the lower miles per gallon it delivers). It is time, says Driessen, to bury the Renewable Fuel Standard and the ethanol subsidies.
Farmers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore are breathing a sigh of relief on news that newly sworn-in Gov. Larry Hogan (R) plans to scrap regulations targeting agricultural runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. Hogan’s announcement came as outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) was scrambling to get the regulations finalized before leaving office Jan. 21. “The first fight [when I take office] will be against these politically motivated midnight-hour phosphorus management tool regulations that the outgoing administration is trying to force upon you in these closing days,” Hogan said in a speech before the Maryland Farm Bureau (Washington Times, Dec. 9) “We won’t allow [...]
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.