The climate change crusades are heating up, thanks to an irascible President Obama, who sneers at polls showing Americans no longer believe in the hobgoblin view of carbon dioxide spread by politicians who arrogated science as a tool to be manipulated rather than a guide to rational behavior. CFACT advisor Larry Bell notes that the EPA’s regulatory war on coal rampage will impose major utility cost hikes, with disproportionate burdens falling upon economically disadvantaged residents of colder northern states. But who will pay the political price for this skullduggery?
“Businesses that sell to foreign markets put more people to work in high-quality jobs, offering more Americans the chance to earn a decent wage,” claimed the Obama Administration’s Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a March 18 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece. She makes a strong case for U.S. exports: “jobs in export-intensive industries pay up to 18% more than jobs not related to exports.” Her premise is: “The U.S. economy ended 2014 on the uptick, and exports added to the momentum.” Noticeably absent is any mention of the potential for “high-quality jobs” and economic “uptick” that would come from [...]
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 enemies of fracking, the Keystone pipeline, and other fossil fuel related activities start with wild-eyed "Deep Green Resistance" types who oppose the entirety of Western civilization (even agriculture), include those with vested interests in alternative energy sources, and even include foreign governments (like Putin's Russia), who recognize that cheaper oil and gas prices will hurt their economies and weaken their grip on nearby dependent countries. Naming enemies empowers those who want to defeat them.
President Obama will soon have to decide whether to please big labor or Big Green -- and his risk is that if he chooses Big Green over big labor and then the labor unions push Democrats who depend on their votes to vote to override his veto of the Keystone Pipeline authorization, he loses big time. The clock is ticking -- and the stakes are high. Meanwhile, President-in-waiting Hillary Clinton is silent ... perhaps fearing the same Hobson's choice. The huge drop in the oil price -- which some now claim is a further reason to ignore Keystone -- is on the verge of a quick rebound thanks to Obama's feckless foreign "policy." Stay tuned!
Is it merely a coincidence that millions of dollars of Russian money have been laundered and forwarded to anti-fossil fuel radical environmentalists to fight exploration and development by the United States of Alaska's vast oil and gas and minerals reserves? While Russia plans to seize the entire Arctic for its own use, the United States shuts down all future development over nearly 20 million acres of land and sea -- for absolutely zero environmental benefit, especially since Russia will likely be able to exploit much of that same territory anyway. Just as bac, Obama did this despite universal opposition from Alaska's elected officials -- robbing the state of much-needed jobs and revenues. Hopefully, this theft and giveaway to Russia can be reversed.
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?"
CFACT policy analyst Marita Noon reports that President Obama's made dash to prevent U.S. oil and gas activities in the very profitable Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) may stem more from Russian money funneled to U.S.-based environmental nonprofits -- and the desire of the President to please such groups -- than from any intelligent rationale for declaring these rich lands off limits to the minimal development needed for resource extraction. Russia, meanwhile, is conducting military-scale operations in a possible effort to take physical control of the entire Arctic region.
Energy policy analyst Marita Noon, a CFACT advisor, points out that India has no intention of kowtowing to political correctness in developing its energy sector. Instead, "India rejects arguments by Green activists that it must move away from coal energy, saying the alternative would be to keep its citizens in poverty.” Meanwhile, President Obama is intent on creating energy poverty in the U.S. through a regulatory assault on coal, oil and gas, and other conventional energy producers -- on top of his intention to veto legislation authorizing the Keystone pipeline. Should he get his way, Americans will be anticipating blackouts and brownouts and higher energy prices across the board to go along with the energy shortages his policies are sure to create.
CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen says that the Obama Administration is continuing, even revving up, its campaign against domestic energy production with new EPA regulations on the horizon that would shutter much of the nation's coal industry and do great harm to oil and gas production; he also promised to veto any legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Moreover, the Obama progressive mentality is so pervaseive that international lending and donor agencies (the UN, OPIC, etc.) are holding poor, developing countries hostage to wind, solar, and biofuel projects that cannot lift them out of poverty -- and thus these elites are damning the world's poorest people to eternal poverty when true prosperity through fossil fuels is staring them in the face.
Just as the glut of oil on the world market has prompted Saudi Arabia to pump out even more oil at cheap prices (for up to 5 years, the Saudis say -- as long as it takes to crush the U.S. shale industry -- the Obama Administration wants to impose harsh new resrictions on oil and gas companies. A better recipe could not be found for decimating the U.S. economy, killing jobs, and ceding control over world oil prices and demand to the Saudis and their OPEC cronies.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel just decided to lay out additional funds to push that nation to 40% cuts in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, an action in line with its Energiewende goals to move beyond fossil fuels. Except it cannot. Germany has done too much too quickly --
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority (soon to be majority) staff has just released a report, “Setting the Record Straight: Hydraulic Fracturing and America’s Energy Revolution,” which shows how President Obama is coordinating with far-left environmental activists such as the aggressive NRDC and the Sierra Club, along with their millionaire board members, their Hollywood celebrity boosters and their “philanthropic” funders, such as the rabidly anti-fracking Park Foundation, to wage an all-out assault to shut down domestic production of American oil and natural gas. There is hope that this agenda can be derailed in part by the incoming GOP Senate majority and a unified House of Representatives, but the President and his minions will continue their regulatory assault as long as they have the power to thwart the will of Congress and the people.
The United States is likely to see brownouts and blackouts thanks to the shuttering of coal-fired power plants (and who knows, maybe even gas-fired plants) that are part of an Obama Administration effort to depower the nation to satisfy environmental extremists and to satisfy his own desire to diminish the role of the United States in world affairs. The EPA is his tool of choice (along with other federal agencies whose policies rarely are blocked by either elected officials or the courts). And as the supply of electricity dwindles, the price of power will rise dramatically, with the greatest negative impacts on the poor, the elderly, and the disabled.
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.