Accuracy in Media

This weekend the Obama administration announced a trade for the release of Army Specialist Bowe Bergdahl, offering in exchange the five most deadly Taliban terrorists incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. This was an illegal act. The president is required by law to inform Congress 30 days before making such a decision. He did not do so, and the White House admitted it. Obama claims a signing statement made at the time this law was passed gave him a right to ignore aspects of it when he saw fit.

Similarly, on Monday the administration violated the law by announcing stringent carbon dioxide emission targets for power plants that will effectively kill the coal industry. The new regulation calls for a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 2030. Congress failed to pass so-called “cap and trade” legislation that would enable such a move, so Obama is using the regulatory authority he claims the EPA already has to regulate carbon. But the president cannot just ignore the will of Congress. To do so assumes that Congress is irrelevant. Apparently this is what President Obama believes.

President Obama’s Organizing for America website brags that the new EPA regulations are “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.” Most media outlets are echoing Obama, heralding the new EPA rule, while downplaying or ignoring the calamitous effects it will have on the economy. CBS called it “groundbreaking.” The Christian Science Monitor calls it “bold, signature, and controversial.” CNN called it “the boldest step yet,” characterizing prior U.S. positions as “hypocritical.”

ABC News cited a new poll claiming that 70 percent of Americans think something should be done about global warming. This, of course, follows numerous polls that indicate just the opposite. A Gallup poll published in The Washington Post last year indicated that most people do not consider global warming a serious threat. An ABC poll found only 18 percent ranked global warming as their highest priority. Sixty-eight percent of respondents ranked the economy as the number one priority. A Pew poll found only 42 percent believed global warming to be caused primarily by human activity.

Media outlets dismissed concerns over the rule’s impact on the economy, but it will have devastating effects. Called the “Obamacare for climate change,” the EPA rule claims huge savings down the road, but, as President Obama put it, this “will require tough choices along the way.” Tough indeed. It will raise energy costs nationwide at a time when our economy struggles to recover from the deepest recession since the Great Depression. A recent study projects the damages:

  • Average annual $51 billion reduction to U.S. Gross Domestic Product through 2030
  • An average 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs every year through 2030
  • U.S. consumers will pay $289 billion more for electricity through 2030
  • Lower total disposable income for U.S. households by $586 billion through 2030

And just as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) claims Obamacare’s unstated but overt goal is to destroy the private healthcare market, this new EPA rule is ultimately designed to destroy the coal industry.

Some states have already vowed to fight against these regulations. Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) said, “Indiana will oppose these regulations using every means available.” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (R) promised to “fight these regulations every step of the way.” Many other U.S senators and representatives have expressed similar sentiments. West Virginia and Wyoming are considering legislation to block the regulations. As Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (R) noted, “The costs are real, the benefits are theoretical.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called it “a dagger in the heart of the American middle class.”

Facing tough reelection campaigns in coal states, many Democratic politicians have also broken ranks to voice their opposition. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) called the new rules “disastrous.”  Democratic West Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tenannt stated, “I will stand up to President Obama, Gina McCarthy and anyone else who tries to undermine our coal jobs…” Running against incumbent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes promised, “I will fiercely oppose the President’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry because protecting our jobs will be my number one priority.”

Coordination

Lawsuits and legislation may ultimately prevent this regulation from going forward; however, state and local governments have a simpler and more effective tool at their fingertips: “coordination.” Coordination is a little-known feature embedded in numerous environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970, the Endangered Species Act and other laws.

Coordination requires the EPA and all other federal agencies to consider all effects of environmental regulations. These effects include:

ecological (such as the effects on natural resources and on the components, structures, and functioning of affected ecosystems), aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic, social, or health, whether direct, indirect, or cumulative. Effects may also include those resulting from actions which may have both beneficial and detrimental effects, even if on balance the agency believes that the effect will be beneficial. (emphasis added).

The federal agency must prepare an “environmental impact” statement that includes impacts on the human environment. This refers specifically to all those aspects listed above. According to the law, “‘Human environment’ shall be interpreted comprehensively to include the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment.” The agency is only exempt if the proposed regulation has “no significant impact.”

Since these new carbon regulations will have a devastating effect on multiple aspects of the human environment, the EPA cannot unilaterally apply them as proposed. The EPA must negotiate with state and local governmentsthey only have to ask. Not only will conventional energy sources be gravely weakened, but our nation will be set on a course to use more and more solar, wind and other exotic power generation. These are three to four times more expensive than traditional energy, and will send residential electricity rates through the roof. If you recall, candidate Obama promised this very thing back in 2008, saying that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Obama added, “So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can—it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

Solar and wind facilities require huge amounts of space to generate even tiny amounts of electricity. For example, the Ivanpah solar farm in southern California provides 1.1 percent of California’s residential energy needs, but requires five square miles of ground. And every bit of those five square miles is filled with moving, tilting mirrors that follow the sun. High maintenance costs are assured. A solar farm scaled up to serve all California homes—never mind industry—would require 500 square miles, an area almost half the size of Rhode Island.

Both solar and wind are deadly to the environment. For environmental purposes, the Ivanpah land essentially becomes a five square mile parking lot. Focusing the sun’s rays on a single point as this facility does raises the temperature near the central tower as high as 1,000 degrees F, incinerating any birds that fly through. The Bundy Ranch showdown came about because multiple solar energy farms are planned for Clark County, Nevada, and land surrounding the ranch property is intended for “mitigation,” i.e., to replace habitat for the endangered desert tortoise destroyed by solar facilities.

Modern wind turbines slaughter more birds than Perdue. At California’s Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, one of the first major wind generation facilities constructed in the U.S., the Audubon Society estimates that 4,700 birds die annually, including 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks and 333 American Kestrels. According to Smithsonian.com, nationwide, wind turbines kill between 140,000 and 328,000 birds every year.

Solar and wind energy projects cannot survive on their own, requiring massive, unsustainable government subsidies to make them economically viable. Across the United States, 15,000 wind turbines already stand abandoned, and throughout Europe wind and solar energy are being reconsidered as problems mount and governments abandon the subsidies. In Spain, one study found that renewable energy jobs cost about 571,000 Euros, or more than $776,000 each. At the same time, for each renewable energy job generated, the economy lost 2.2 jobs elsewhere. Wind generation has failed in Denmark, Spain, Greece, Portugal and elsewhere. Stephan Kohler, Germany’s energy chief says that conventional power plants will be necessary until at least 2050 and calls Germany’s Renewable Energy Act “pure insanity.”

Fleecing the Taxpayers

While Obama, the Democrats and some Republicans have raised the specter of catastrophic global warming, the real “green” they seek is greenbacks. Even a cursory look into the backers of “green energy” projects reveals a who’s who of the Democratic Left. Everyone from Al Gore, to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama and their many friends, associates and supporters have all lined up to cash in on “green” energy. The idea is to use government subsidies to make the investments viable. As long as subsidies persist, the companies make money. But this can’t last forever. Government subsidies must eventually end, as they are doing now in Europe and already did at many locations in the U.S. But by the time this happens, investors have long since cashed out, leaving taxpayers holding the bag. The EPA rule, however, envisions an entirely new paradigm. Instead of subsidizing these green energy firms, the Obama administration intends to simply destroy the competition.




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Comments

  • Another great report by Simpson!

  • Poppa

    obama had better lawyer up because we are

  • john

    Shear BS. Reporting ruled by conspiracy theories. Right wing paranoia is never a pretty thing. PV is the most economical power generation option for non-OPEC countries from Spain South to Australia. King coal is dead.

  • john

    So funny! Obama has done nothing illegal. The CO2 ruling was actually mandated by a 2007 SCOTUS decision. Bush got around it by not opening an e-mail of the EPA’s decision.

  • James Simpson

    Sheer BS. At least learn to spell right.

  • Kaedwon

    Meanwhile, Canada has been waiting FIVE YEARS for a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a project Obama’s own state department has concluded will have no adverse environmental impact. I wouldn’t blame Canada if they gave Obama the middle finger and sold to China, which would result in even greater CO2 emissions.

  • mickeymat

    A stunning piece. If only our polls had the courage to do their jobs.

  • Wakeupcall

    The house needs to delete all funding for the EPA. They are nothing but a bunch of progressive liberal socialist democrat Marxist communists doing their best to destroy America from within so they in their true colors as Marxist Communists can have total rule and control over the people just as all other communist countries.

  • LawReader

    It bears repeating that the ‘modern environmental’ movement got it’s start by killing 50 million people. Rachel Carson’s book – ‘Silent Spring’ put forth the ‘consensus’ (absolutely bogus) that ‘DDT was killing the planet‘, and ‘responsible entities’ up to the UN – enacted a ban on the one thing that could prevent Malaria for pennies – and 50 million people died as a result. Junk science piled up the corpses…

    So here we are again – climate hysteria in no way substantiated by actual science, and the Obama administration declares war on affordable energy.

    We may not see ’50 million deaths’, but we WILL see people freezing to death by virtue of unaffordable heating bills – and every aspect of the economy will suffer.

    Simply put – the president is FAR more interested in his own narcissism than the well-being of Americans. Not only is he operating in the junk-science realm – he’s pretty well overseeing a junk presidency.

  • LawReader

    And much of the ‘EPA science’ behind the ‘ruling’ has been revealed to be absolute garbage or fabrication. EPA ‘higher ups’ have been revealed to have broken laws – or in one case, a ‘senior’ bureaucrat was revealed to have ‘taken considerable time off (unreported) to pursue an ‘imaginary position as a CIA operative’. Your government on bureaucratic LSD as it were…

    Obama breaks laws with such regularity, it’s actually a bit more astounding when he doesn’t.

  • LawReader

    Commenting ruled by ignorance. One need only look at what happened to *Spain* when it headed down this path. Left wing stupidity is a pretty consistent thing.

  • Bartthedog

    Other than constantly trying to destroy the country in oh so many ways?

  • Bartthedog

    Left wing scare tactics (Run! The sky is falling!) are not only destroying our flat obamaconomy, but constantly pushing totalitarian statism. To save the planet, don’tcha know?

  • Mike

    Name one Supreme Court Justice who is a scientist?

  • WestHoustonGeo

    We are receiving shipments of Canadian heavy crude by rail and by pipeline to the Great Lakes and barges down the Mississippi. It is much more expensive and dangerous. The quantities are increasing and there are plans to use supertankers (idled by overregulation of Alaska production) to load from the Canadian West coast and bring the crude to the Gulf by way of the widened Panama canal.
    Still expensive but still cheaper than buying the same type of heavy crude (upon which many refineries depend) from Venezuela (also in tankers).
    Ask yourself, “Who profits by this?”
    The answer is Warren Buffet’s railroads. So, bho blocks the pipeline and Warren keeps repeating that he should pay more taxes (but never actually does).

  • WestHoustonGeo

    I don’t know where you got that idea. PV is three to four times as expensive as any other form of generation. It has to be backed up 100% by conventional power,
    Wind is even less reliable, chops up endangered birds by the 100’s of thousands every year and must also have 100% backup. The back up plants have to be idling and ready to take up the load at a moment’s notice. This is the least efficient way to operate these plants and wastes fuel for no reason.
    Spain has bankrupted it’s power industry chasing wind. Australia has dumped the green power idea as well. Germany is building more coal plants. China puts a few coal plants on-line every week.

  • WestHoustonGeo

    Wrong. That ruling was about particulate matter.
    CO2 was never mentioned.

  • terry1956

    The federal EPA is illegal as is most of what the federal government does.
    Now there is a proper constitutional way that congress can regulate internal pollution and charge for foreign pollution but the executives branch of the US federal government has no legal authority.
    Federal courts may also decide on proper internal common law trespass and nuisance suits by one state against another if it is a proper court with a regular citizen jury.
    Since especially with a state as a party the US Supreme Court has original jurisdiction so the case must go directly to it and bench decisions are not legal especially in original jurisdiction cases, there must be a fully informed regular citizen jury of 12 making the required unanimous decision with all of the 9 justices for the decision to stick against the defendant state.
    The jury must come from the defendant state and the trial must be held in the defendant state since that is where the clamed adverse action started from.

  • terry1956

    While the federal EPA is unconstitutional as is most things the federal government does with in the states, Congress may charge import taxes and internal excise taxes based on pollution or internally a direct pollution tax based on the ten year population count.
    Either way on the internal tax its likely the state government would pay the tax for the citizens and corporations in the state.
    With the excise in direct tax its illegal for the federal government to tax most non corporate businesses because that would make the tax a direct tax not based on the population count or even income.
    Thus the current federal tax on distilled sprits, tobacco, fuel etc is often nothing more than a direct illegal extortion by the federal government.
    On the other hand a proper constitutional internal excise federal tax might destroy the tax base unless it is a small amount.
    For example the federal wisky tax is 13.50 a gallon or as much as over 500% on some distilled sprits.
    The market value of a corporate distiiled product might be worth 10% or 15% maybe even 20% more than a non corporate product but it would not likely be worth 500% or even 100% and usually not even 50%.
    Thus the market for distilled sprits would go to non corporate distillers if the excise tax is to high.
    A per person direct pollution tax very well might be more than tens of millions of American Households could afford.
    Thus it would be best for the state government’s to pay the tax as well as all internal federal taxes applied to US citizens and US corporations except maybe a small rate corporate retail tax.
    Having much of the federal revenue come from a corporate retail sales tax and import taxes would give Americans another way to show displeasure with federal actions by adjusting their import purchases and their purchases from corporate retail outlets.
    Of course it goes without saying that the personal federal income and payroll tax must be eliminated.
    Also the federal government must be cut down to its proper legal role by eliminating all but 4 or 5 departments and eliminating most of the things the federal government does getting the annual federal budget down to less than 1.3 trillion dollars.
    Yes the federal government should not even be trusted to meet the obligations to our senior citizens for the extortion that congress did against their pay and their employers payroll.
    The states will and the people do a better job.

  • terry1956

    In the state ratification debates on the US Constitution the pro Constitution ratifiers promised that normally ( as in when trade is possible) the federal government would get most of its revenue from import taxes and for the first 120 years that promised was kept except for a few non war years when custom duties brought in 40 something percent of the revenue instead of over 50 percent.
    Before the Civil War there was several years when the import taxes brought in all the federal tax revenue with a small percentage through land sells.
    Since the major reason we need a federation, a federal government is because of foreign nations and foreigners its only rational and just that most of the federal tax burden be placed on foreign nations, foreigners and Americans that do business with them.
    It only makes sense that Congress first places a pollution tax on imports before even considering an internal pollution tax since the total pollution of all the other nations together is greater than the US.
    Of course the tax on goods from Red China, Red Vietnam and Mexico would usually be higher than the import tax on goods from Canada, Japan and Norway.

  • terry1956

    Well the US House should not only defund the EPA but the vast majority of other federal departments and agencies.
    Defund the EPA, theATF, the DEA, the FCC, the FDA, the USDA, HHS, DOT, the FAA. FTC,FEMA,SEC,FDIC,Federal Reserve, BLM, BIA, National Park Service etc etc.
    Keep the DOD, roll NASA, the CIA and NSA into DOD.
    Keep the Treasury.
    Keep the State Department but end all foreign aid.
    Keep the Justice Department and the FBI.
    Turn over all federal land and waters not being used directly by the US military and customs to the states.

  • terry1956

    Actually the US Supreme Court did not make such a decision because only the Justices of the Supreme Court made the decision without a jury of regular citizens on the case with the decision being unanimous the decision was illegal from the start.
    A jury was required especially if one or more states were involved.
    The jury would also have to come from the defendant’s state and the justices would have had to held the trial in the defendants state.

  • terry1956

    Well the ruling was illegal anyway since it was just a bench decision.

  • terry1956

    Well we don’t have a rule of scientist that would be illegal but decisions by US supreme court justices are also illegal as is all bench only cases.
    The proper legal balance in a court is always a judge or judges or justices and a 12 member citizen jury requiring a unanimous decision to go against a defendant, that helps prevent a tyranny of a majority and a minority.
    Without a unanimous decision the case can be retried thus helping to prevent a tyranny of the minority but to help prevent a tyranny of the majority a unanimous decision is required before the government has permission to deprive the defendant of their life, liberty or property ( including money through direct taxes).
    The Founder’s never intended for this country to be ruled by 9 people appointed for life and especially never 5 out of the 9.
    The US Constitution original meaning also does not permit such a rule.